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Prelude to War – 1930s to December 1941

The visitor experience at the National Museum of World War II Aviation begins with an overview of the development of aviation, from the early 1900s to the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Visitors feel the excitement and sense of discovery that swept the world during the Golden Age of Aviation and learn how this new technology changed military strategy forever.

Key events in this gallery include early advancements in aircraft design, its adaptation to military use in World War I, development of air mail service and other commercial uses, and the race to develop land and sea-based military aviation in the period between World Wars I and II.

Prelude to War tells the story of the rise of aviation at a time when the entire world was descending


The museum’s two F-7F Tigercats and P-38 Lightning will be on tour Saturday, November 12th through Thursday, December 8th. All other aircraft will be on display throughout this period.

The museum will be closed on the following days during the holiday season:
Thursday, November 24
Saturday, December 24
Sunday, December 25
Sunday, January 1
Happy Holidays!